‘Changing Customer Demand’ Closes Ford’s Bridgend Plant

Thu 6th Jun 2019

More than 1,700 jobs are at risk in South Wales after Ford Motor Group confirmed that Bridgend engine manufacturing plant will close in 2020.

The plant currently manufactures the new generation Ford 1.5-litre engine and also supplies engines for Jaguar Land Rover. But demand for the GTDi 1.5-litre engine and JLR no longer requiring engines from September 2020 means that demand is significantly lower than is needed to keep the Bridgend plant viable.

“We will resist this closure with all our might, and call upon the governments at the Welsh Assembly and Westminster to join us to save this plant,” said Len McCluskey, head of the Unite union.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, added: “Today’s announcement is another crushing blow for UK automotive manufacturing and, especially, the staff and their families in and around Bridgend.

“Ford’s challenges are not unique: economic uncertainty at home and abroad, technological change and global trade issues are stressing markets and forcing companies to review operations and make difficult decisions.

“Success in this fiercely competitive global industry, however, starts at home and we hope that all efforts will be made over the coming weeks to restore confidence, bolster demand and ensure there is long term competitiveness for this crucial sector.”

In a prepared statement Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, said: “Creating a strong and sustainable Ford business in Europe requires us to make some difficult decisions, including the need to scale our global engine manufacturing footprint to best serve our future vehicle portfolio.

“We are committed to the U.K.; however, changing customer demand and cost disadvantages, plus an absence of additional engine models for Bridgend going forward make the plant economically unsustainable in the years ahead.”